Long An’s Agriculture sector has just given a warning that local farmers should not expand the scale and area of pangasius fries due to potential risks.
According to the Long An provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the province has over 1,300 ha of land used for pangasius fries nursery, mainly in districts such as Tân Hưng and Tân Thạnh. Prices of pangasius fries have been increasing up high at more than 50,000 vnd/kg, size 30-35 pcs/kg. With such prices, farmers can earn huge profits. However, the increase in prices has caused concern that local farmers may rush to expand the farming scale and area.
According to the Department, farmers should not expand the farming scale and area arbitrarily so as to avoid the unbalance of demand and supply which can result in surplus and difficulties in sales like before.
Besides this, the nursery of pangasius fries in the province has been spontaneous and full of potential risks which involve unassured quality, unsuitable drain system for aquaculture, direct disposal of wastewater to the environment causing pollution and pathogen spread.
According to the Department, from 2017 to 2019, the increase in pangasius fries made thousands of farmers replace rice fields with fish farms, resulting in the rise in local stocking area. At this time, Long An had the largest area of pangasius fries nursery in the Mekong Delta, with nearly 3,500ha. However, the emerging nursery of pangasius fries with the increase in both area and quantity resulted in a surplus and affected the consumption and production.
From late 2019 to mid 2021, prices of pangasius fries fell down, ranging between 18,000 and 25,000 vnd/kg, most households suffered from loss and were burdened with debt. Some farmers had to sell their land and some shifted to rear other aquatic species or fill the ponds to cultivate rice or fruits. So far, the province has more than 1,300 ha of land used for pangasius fries nursery.